Yemen peace talks: Government, rebels announce mass prisoner swap

Yemen peace talks: Government, rebels announce mass prisoner swap
Yemen's warring parties exchanged some 15,000 names amid UN-brokered talks in Sweden.
1 min read
11 December, 2018
Loyalist forces stand guard outside the central prison in Aden [Getty]
Yemen's government and rival rebels announced on Tuesday plans for a mass prisoner swap, exchanging some 15,000 names, as UN-brokered talks on ending the country's war entered their seventh day.

The government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Yemen's northern Houthi rebels are in Sweden for talks on a devastating conflict that has pushed 14 million people to the brink of famine. 

The Houthi rebels announced that the names of a total of 15,000 detainees and prisoners had been exchanged.

A source in the government delegation said their side had released the names of 8,200 detainees but declined to comment on the combined total.

Both parties have two weeks to revise the list of names.

Nearly four years into a war that has pushed 14 million Yemenis to the brink of mass starvation, the Saudi-backed government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Houthi rebels, linked to Riyadh's arch-rival Iran, began talks on Thursday in the rural town of Rimbo, Sweden. 

UN officials expect the talks will last a week.

The prisoner exchange was the only issue the rival delegations were confirmed to have met on face-to-face. 

Among the issues under discussion are potential humanitarian corridors, the reopening of the defunct Sanaa international airport, and Hodeida, the rebel-held city at the heart of an ongoing government offensive.